I just watched a recent dailyshow episode where he had Ron Paul in the interview and it was quite interesting. I just have to make a few comments since I think that it needs to be said.
I do agree with more freedom, but I do not agree with free markets the way he suggested things should be done. I definitely do not agree that there should be no regulations whatsoever. He said that the market will correct itself, and businesses can not just steal or pollute since the free market will not allow that. I have to say that that statement alone is so wrong it not only shows ignorance, it actually borders on stupidity. Even with all the regulations in place right now, many consumers will be quite surprised about the things thatcompanies are putting into your food. Does the market correct that ? no. Would the market correct that if everyone knew ? probably not. No one likes having wood in their food, but no one seems to want to pay more money for a higher quality product. There have been quite a few scandals in germany about meat, the most ‘famous’ one was that people sold meat that wasn’t even allowed to be sold for human consumption to fast food restaurants all over germany: spiegel.de link (german). Would you not think that companies that are out for only their own profit would not sell whatever they could get away with ? Would you not think that it would be far worse if there was no one to check on them ? Do you ask where the meat you buy came from ? Do you ask when you go out to eat if the people working there know where the meat came from ? I do not want to have to wonder if the milk I give to my 2 year old might kill her.
Now for a different example. There was a huge (for online gambling proportions) scandal involving UltimateBet/AbsolutePoker where players were scammed out of millions of dollars because some players were cheating by having the company tell them the hole cards of their opponents. Did the market (which really is free since there is an obvious lack of regulation until online poker is legalized) correct that ? Nope. The poker site was up and running for years after that. And there were more scandals, imagine that.
I just wanted to throw that out there…. If you want a truely free market, you might have to give up some things. Like a decent wage, especially in times where there are more workers than jobs. Maybe your 8 year old son could get a job in a coal mine again, for 6 days a week 12 hours a day, to help with groceries. I really don’t want to go back to that.
PS.: I do agree with him on the drug war. People should not ever be in prison for taking drugs. Selling drugs is a more complicated issue, however. Yet I still don’t think that anyone should go to prison for selling pot to a consenting adult.